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Microsoft Heeds Developer Feedback in New Visual Studio 2017 Preview

According to Microsoft, community developers are driving changes to its flagship IDE, including a host of improvements in the just-announced second preview of Visual Studio 2017 Version 15.4.

"The Developer Community spoke and we listened," Microsoft said in a post this week.

Microsoft maintains a Developer Community portal for Visual Studio (with separate sections for Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server) designed to help developers with problems. It also solicits feature requests and other feedback via its UserVoice site.

Using feedback from those tools, the company this week provided a list of fixed issues in the second preview of Visual Studio 2017 15.4 that received the highest number of votes, along with links to those associated issues. Here's that list:

  • Solution build time is dramatically slower when enabling lightweight solution load (see here).
  • Build failure error: 'path' cannot be an empty string ("") or start with the null character (see here).
  • Track active item in Solution Explorer no longer works (see here).
  • ADODB 2.7 reference accepted in VS2015, rejected in VS2017 (see here).
  • Tracking active item is working inconsistently (see here).
  • The debugger is not properly installed. Run setup or repair the debugger (see here).
  • Microsoft.VisualStudio.Debugger.JustInTime failed to install (see here).

The company also highlighted a new feature that adds a launch banner to the installer to indicate a successful Visual Studio installation, along with these other installer improvements:

  • The installer now uses auto-proxy detection for downloads.
  • The installer will now display a warning instead of a failure when non-critical components fail to install if they do not directly impede the use of the Visual Studio IDE. The change in the user experience makes it clearer that Visual Studio is okay to use even though there were some issues that the user can take action to correct.
  • Creating an offline layout will use shorter paths, enabling administrators to host offline installs in deeper network folder hierarchies.
Installation Succeeded!
[Click on image for larger view.] Installation Succeeded! (source: Microsoft).

Note that the new preview comes with the following warning: "This release is not 'go-live' and not intended for use on production computers or for creating production code."

More information on the preview process can be found in the document "Visual Studio 2017 Release Rhythm."

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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